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Sophomore Teaches Sportsmanship at Elementary School

Sophomore Teaches Sportsmanship at Elementary School

By Alli Bates ’16

Although he is only a sophomore, Josh Plichta has used his time at Otterbein to rack up some unique experiences. From working for Pittsburgh Steeler Will Allen’s foundation through his public relations class to changing the lives of children through the Sports Pals program, Plichta is developing quite a broad base of experiences.

Plichta is a native of McCandless, PA, majoring in public relations with a minor in sport management. He plays baseball for Otterbein, serves on the Otterbein University Student Government and is a peer mentor for first-year students. He also is a CardinalCorps Leader and recipient of the Emerging Leader Award. He runs the weekly service program, Sports Pals, which partners with Avalon Elementary School students in grades K-5 to promote positive behaviors.

Plichta was introduced to CardinalCorps by his Otterbein admission counselor, who thought Plichta would make a great volunteer to speak to elementary school children about the importance of sportsmanship.

“As a freshman, I figured out what I wanted to get involved with. After going to various weekly programs, I felt that Sports Pals was my calling. I volunteered at baseball camps throughout high school and really liked the sports teaching and coaching environment. It translated very smoothly over to Sports Pals,” said Plichta.

Plitchta talks to the kids about a variety of things. He goes over sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork on and off the field. He tries to emphasize how much they can learn from games and sports.

“There are so many valuable life lessons to be learned from sports that can be transferred into the real world. I want all of the kids to understand the deeper meaning of the games.”

Plichta’s most difficult part has been preparing for each week’s program. He needs to have plans and back up plans in case they finish a game too soon or aren’t able to go outside.

His favorite part of Sports Pals has been being able to make personal connections with all of the children.

“Knowing what their story is and being able to take their minds off of it for two hours is incredibly rewarding. I love being able to go, have fun, learn and just be a kid again myself,” said Plichta. “I think I have learned just as much about me and abilities as the kids have.”

As he wraps up his sophomore year, Plichta is poised to continue growing his leadership skills at Otterbein and beyond.

Learn more about Otterbein's Public Relations program.

Find more volunteer opportunities with the Otterbein Center for Community Engagement.